PsP, the protein-bound polysaccharide, extracted from a strain of Coriolus versicolor (Cov-1) by Professor Qing-yao Yang, has been proved to be effective against tumor both in animal experiments and in clinical patients. Previous results suggested that the antitumor effects of PsP were related to the potentiation of immunological responses, especially T-cell mediated immune responses of tumorbearing hosts. Since T-lymphocytes play an important role in immune response and T-cell deficiency existed in many diseases, the most noticeable one at present time is the acquired immune deficient syndrome (AIDS) which leads to the failure of T-cell functions and death. Until now there is no any
effective drug in curing this disease. It is of great interest to investigate if PsP can potentiate T-cell functions and restore the immune deficient conditions in tumor, AIDS and other viral infections. In this paper both in vivo and in vitro experiments were used to study PsP on: 1) immune organ weights, 2) antibody informations, 3) serum complement contents, 4) T lymphocyte proliferations, 5) interleukin-2 production, 6) delayed type hypersensitivity reaction, 7) phagocytic ability of reticulo-endothelial system and 8) protection of liver injuries from CCl4 intoxication.
Trametes versicolor — formerly known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor — is an extremely common polypore mushroom which can be found throughout the world. Versicolor means ‘of several colours’ and it is true that this mushroom is found in a wide variety of different colours. T. versicolor is commonly called Turkey Tail in the United States because of its resemblance to the tail of the wild turkey. T. versicolor is recognized as a medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine under the name yun zhi (simplified Chinese: ??, traditional Chinese: ??). In China and Japan T. versicolor is used as in immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer.
Mushrooms have traditionally been valued in Asia for their nutritional and medicinal qualities. The Coriolus versicolor or “Turkey Tail” mushroom has been investigated in numerous laboratory, animal and human clinical studies. Most of these studies have demonstrated that it does appear to have significant antimicrobial, antiviral and antitumor properties when used as a supplement to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Human trials have included randomization, a process that decreases bias, but only one has used blinding, which would make them even more protected against biases.
The anti-cancer and immune stimulating properties of Coriolus versicolor have been attributed to two extracts from its cultured mycelium (thread-like extensions). These extracts are both protein-bound polysaccharides known as polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP). Hot water is required to extract these active components.
Mushrooms have been used for at least 5000 years for nutritional and medicinal purposes1,2. Anti-viral and anti-cancer effects have been demonstrated in more than 50 species through animal and in vitro studies. Six components of these mushrooms have been investigated for their activity in human cancers: the lentinan component of shiitake, schizophyllan, active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), maitake D-fraction and two components of Coriolus versicolor. According to the review by Kidd, lentinan and schizophyllan have limited oral bioavailability, and the AHCC and maitake D-fractions are still in the early stages of investigation, but the two Coriolus versicolor components have been extensively investigated and show promise2.
Yun Zhi Polysaccharides (PSP) is a new type of BRM (Biological Response Modifier) extracted from the deep layer cultivated mycelia of Cov-1 strain of Yun Zhi (Coriolus versicolor). Its active ingredient is a protein bound polysaccharides used in the BRM therapy of tumors. Its characteristics and the general aspects of its research are briefly introduced in this paper
Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) isolated from the edible mushroom Coriolus versicolor was tested for its potential as an anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) compound in a series of in vitro assays. It demonstrated inhibition of the interaction between HIV-1 gp 120 and immobilized CD4 receptor (IC50=150 microgram/ml), potent inhibition of recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (IC50=6.25 microgram/ml), and inhibited a glycohydrolase enzyme associated with viral glycosylation. These properties, coupled with its high solubility in water, heat-stability and low cytotoxicity, make it a useful compound for further studies on its possible use as an anti-viral agent in vivo.
Coriolus mushroom is a fungus. People have used the fruiting body and other parts as folk medicine for a long time. Recently, researchers have started to isolate and identify substances in coriolus that might act like pharmaceutical drugs. Two of these substances are polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK). Scientists think these chemicals might be able to fight cancer and boost the immune system. Coriolus mushroom, PSP, and PSK are used for stimulating the immune system; treating herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, and pulmonary disorders; reducing phlegm; improving bodybuilding results; increasing energy; curing ringworm and a skin condition called impetigo; treating upper respiratory, urinary, and digestive tract infections; curing liver disorders including hepatitis; reducing the toxic effects and pain of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy; prolonging life and raising the quality of life of cancer patients; and increasing appetite.
PSP has been shown to manifest immunomodulatory and anticancer properties in both pre-clinical experiments and clinical trials. It has been
shown to reduce the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and has been used as an adjunct medical modality to conventional cancer treatment. Experiments suggest that PSP can boost the immune system and alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy.
Based on the PSP´s significant findings in the investigated cancers of the Phase II trial, permission was granted by the Chinese Administration of Health Bureau to carry out a multi-center Phase III clinical trial. Fourteen hospitals including the eight who participated in the phase II trial conducted this randomized study from April 1996 to September 1997.
Polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) is a protein bound polysaccharide isolated from the COV-1 strain of Yunzhi (Coriolous versicolor mushroom) and made from modern alcohol extraction techniques. Each capsule contains 0.34 grams of PSP. Experimental in-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown PSP inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells including P338 leukemia cells, S 180 cells, Ehrlich ascites, and stomach and lung cancer cells. It also inhibits the growth of some tumors such as the lymphatic tumor of human skin tissue cells. In addition, PSP affects the immune system of mice by stimulating the production of ?\interferons, increasing the phagocytic index and metabolic rate of the reticuloendothilial system and by raising the HC 50 (median hemolytic dose), IgG and PFC (plaque forming cell) values. Human in-vivo experiments have also shown PSP can modulate the immune system by helping to prevent and partly eliminate the side effects of radiation and chemotherapeutic agents used by cancer patients.